Sunday, May 20, 2007

Soul Witness

ג' בסיון תשס"ז

Elisheva comments regarding previous entries concerning the sotah that correctly the woman is accused by the husband, rather than accusing of the husband as I wrote it. Let me clarify - when I write an "accusing" wife, what I mean is that the woman is "accusing" this man of being her true husband (bashert) before the heavenly Judge. I do not mean that the woman is a shrill hag of a wife who incessantly nags her husband.

Both accusing and accused fit my view of the sotah ritual. The woman is "accusing" the man of being her true husband. Likewise, the woman has been "accused" by the man of being his true wife.

Both are finally brought before the heavenly Judge in consequence to some action on the man's part (we can pretty much figure out a typical "jealous action", I think). The man "accuses" the woman of being his true wife before the heavenly prosecutor, in his own defense (of his action). Yet, he is powerless to defend himself. She must defend him. Consequently, she is summoned and brought before the heavenly Kohen (defense attorney) in consequence to the man's attempted self-defense before the prosecutor. This is how the man "brings his wife" before the Kohen. It isn't literal. It is his "jealous" action and attempted defense of himself which sets into motion the consequence of the woman being brought before the Kohen. All of this is occurring in the supernal realms.

The sotah ritual does not pertain to an actual husband-wife relationship in the normal sense. In the real relationship sense, a wife isn't really "accused" by her husband or "accusing" of her husband in some literal manner. The sotah dynamic occurs in the supernal realms where some "cleaving" interaction between the two souls causes both souls to be brought before the supernal Judge. The heavenly prosecutor, in effect, accuses both of them of impropriety (via the cleaving of their souls together). In other words, the sotah ritual is one whereby both a man and a woman in the realm of the soul are judged. However, significantly, only the woman's "testimony" (through the effects of the ritual) is able to either condemn or exonerate both (they are not or are "bashert"). He is powerless to exonerate them. She holds all the power here, despite the awfulness of performing the ritual.

The sotah ritual is a test to determine true bashert. The heavenly prosecutor is basically accusing the man of (spiritual) "adultery" with a woman (and vice versa). To be "cleared", it must be determined whether or not these two souls are truly bashert. The woman must be able to clear the man's "accused sin" (with her spiritually) and if she can and will, she is his true wife. If not, she dies to him. And while the text may not say so explicitly, he dies to her as well.

The sotah ritual has nothing to do with normative human husband-wife relationships. In the sotah ritual, both the man and the woman are "fighting for their lives" against the heavenly prosecutor. The woman and the Kohen are the defense team. The man is the primary defendant. The woman is a secondary defendant and the sole accepted witness.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this.

Blessed be....

Lori said...

Thank you!

Dare to be true to yourself.